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BBC and EE trial 4G broadcast tech at FA cup final

Matthew Finnegan | June 2, 2015
EE plans to widen the use of its 4G Broadcast technology next year

EE trialled a new 4G broadcast service at the FA Cup Final on Saturday, partnering with the BBC to give fans control over how they view the match through mobile devices.

The 4G Broadcast EE app test allowed a small number of supporters within the stadium to switch between a choice of multiple live action camera angles to watch the game, as well as a selection of replays.

EE said the trial was enabled by the use of its 4G Broadcast technology, which reduces the strain on bandwidth which occurs when live television is streamed by many people within a crowded area — such as Wembley Stadium.

EE's 4G Broadcast network uses eMBMS (evolved Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service) to make the same video content available to everyone in a certain location at the same time. It differs from the more traditional 'unicast' mobile streaming, says EE, which sends content from the network to each individual user as they demand it.

EE now intends to build the 4G Broadcast capabilities into its network in 2016, promising to work with mobile device manufacturers and broadcasters to develop the service.

"4G is not just about faster web and video download speeds, it will also change where and how we watch live events on mobile devices," said Olaf Swantee, CEO at EE.

"We are continuing to innovate, and to show how powerful 4G technology can be. In the future, 4G Broadcast will make live television available to mobile audiences in a way we have never seen before, and the cross-industry collaboration in this project has enabled a big step forward in making that possible."

The FA Cup Final trial is part of a wider partnership between EE and Wembley, which deployed a Wifi network and 300Mpbs 4G network in the stadium, as well as creating a mobile app and mobile ticketing system.

Rob Ray, group director of IT and digital at Wembley Stadium, said: "This latest innovation highlights that through Wembley's partnership with EE we are at the forefront of technological advancements in global sports and music entertainment venues.

"It demonstrates the value of the partnership and our commitment to our event owners, and to their fans and the experience they will enjoy at the stadium for years to come."

 

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